Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Thank you

Monday, September 20th, 2010

My debut single The Angel EP comes out today. You can buy it online if you’re that way inclined (iTunes or Bandcamp). I had an amazing time last night at the launch party and here are some thank yous:

  • All the artists who played: Tunnels, Pagan Wanderer Lu, Something Beginning With L and DJ Schone Mond.
  • Everyone at Catch especially Ben who put up with my many emails and Martin who did a great job with the sound.
  • Melanie and Ziggy for their help with the poster, which I love and is gorgeous.
  • The Girls of the Penthouse and my Hackney Family: Sandi, Clare, Sean and Tom. Hannah, Mike and Chris.
  • My In Real Life Family: Flea and Al, Chris T-T and Rifa B.
  • Ingie for his storming remix of Android Song.
  • Alex CF for his beautiful artwork and suffering at the hands of my evangelical positivity.
  • Sarah Harries and Emma Hogan for their friendship, guidance and for going out of their way to help me. This summer has been the best one of my life.

Finally some extra special thank yous:

  • Colin and Paula McCracken (or Mr and Mrs Zombiehamster as I know them) for their love and support.
  • My Glamorous Assistants: Roseanna, Katharina and Cassie, the three best girls in the world.
  • and James Anthony for teaching me about writing and stuff.

The Angel EP Launch Party

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

The Angel Launch Party medium

No Summer Holiday

Monday, August 30th, 2010

I love my life and am continuing to have a proper amazing time; however, I haven’t been on holiday for about 2 or 3 years. I miss the sunshine, sand and cocktails. This has been sitting on my computer waiting for me to share it for a few weeks now.

Here’s some of the music I’ve been listening to while not on holiday: No Summer Holiday

“I left my head and my heart on the dancefloor”

Don’t Fucking Tell Me What To Do Robyn

Summertime Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald

You Won’t B Here Perfume Genius

As Tears Go By The Rolling Stones

Little Girl Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse (featuring Julian Casablancas)

Moonlit Talons Pulled Apart By Horses

Telephone Lady Gaga (featuring Beyonce)

Independent Woman Part I Destiny’s Child

Son Of A Preacher Man Dusty Springfield

Little Lion Man Mumford & Sons

Fingerprints I Am Kloot

Hang With Me Robyn

Small Blue Thing Suzanne Vega

Strike She Keeps Bees

Just War Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse (featuring Gruff Rhys)

Chain Of Fools Aretha Franklin

Standon was Calling

Friday, August 13th, 2010

Wow. What a week this has been. More to follow.

My wonderful friend Emma took me to Standon Calling at the weekend where I got my first festival AAA wristband (I still can’t get over the fact it was BLACK – how freakin cool) and met some really lovely people.

The festival itself was a bit too posh for me but the programming was brilliant.

Along with a lot of running around, dancing, talking to bands and hanging back stage, I also saw some music. Here’s the highlights:

  • Metronomy – We were camping right by the main stage so we heard some of their set and danced a bit while we put up our tents. Brilliant as always.
  • Liars – Blew it out of the water. This is an incredible live band and I am now totally in crush with Angus Andrew. Phenomenal.
  • Dry The River – These boys are ace. I saw them twice at the festival, once the full band on the main stage which was lush (and no shame to say I cried a little in the rain), then they also played an acoustic set at the Rough Trade pop-up shop. They were brilliant both times.
  • The Magic Numbers were superb. We were watching from backstage (I know!) so the sound would’ve been better up front but their set was stormin.
  • British Sea Power – Played a near-on perfect set. I’ve seen them play a few times over the years but not for a while. That day I met them for the first time and just about managed to hold it together to say hi and not fall over or anything. They are such an awesome band.
  • Harry’s Gym were aces. The name doesn’t do them justice, this band were great and their songs are fab. Keeping an eye on this one.
  • Efterklang – totally broke my heart. They are an incredible live band and they mix everything perfectly, the music and lyrics come together to form beautiful uplifting epic pieces.
  • Delorean – are simply electroey – guitary goodness. Hairy spaniards. Brilliant. If I hadn’t danced myself out the day before then I would’ve been non-stop stomping. As they were setting up I think I heard myself yelp with joy at seeing the NordWave. Their synth player/programmer is one of the best I’ve seen live.

I was broken and have only now just about recovered. Brilliant. I totally love festival season.

You might notice that once again I have failed to see Fucked Up when I had an opportunity to. I am gutted about this but more on this to follow!

Top Secret Autumn: Announcement:

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

tied up

You have waited long enough people!

single: exceptional exclusive individual indivisible original rare solitary special strange unique unrivaled unshared unusual without equal (via @annamadeleine)

I can now reveal that on Monday 20th September 2010 I will be releasing my very first single, The Angel (from forthcoming album 2010) as a digital download EP.

You will be able to buy The Angel along with 4 other tracks from iTunes, Bandcamp and all your usual online stores.

Plus, if that wasn’t enough excitement: I can also reveal that the hugely talented Alex CF has created an amazing piece of art for the cover. I can’t say how much it means to me to be collaborating with Alex in this way, his work is stunning. (no you can’t see it yet!)

alliance: affinity bond coalition coherence collaboration communion congruity connection cooperation friendship participation support union (via @rifa)

And of course we can’t have a single launch without a LAUNCH PARTY:

Sunday 19th September

7.30-1am free entry

Catch, Kingsland Road, London

Line-up:

Live:  Something Beginning With L,  Pagan Wanderer Lu,  Anna Madeleine, Tunnels

DJ:  Schone Mond

There will be lots of angelic-themed fun and games. The gorgeous girls, Cassie and Roseanna (2 of my 3 glamorous assistants) will be there helping me make sure you all have a great time (Katharina will be there too in spirit of course!).

So, take the Monday off work and come to East London from wherever you are, to party with me and the gang.

Much more information to follow.

Thanks to wonderful Melanie Clifford for her brilliant photographic skills. Massive thanks to Sarah Harries and Rifa B for their help and support. The Angel is for James Anthony.

Back To The Truck Yeah

Friday, July 30th, 2010

Well, actually it was my first time at Truck but that’s not how the song goes.

Unbelievably busy with preparations of a secret nature (announcements very soon, promise), so here’s just a list-based rundown of what Roseanna and I liked at Truck 13:

Roseanna’s favourite (and her Truck discovery): Bellowhead

Anna’s favourites: Islet and Pulled Apart By Horses

(no surprises there, although I did manage to be right at the front for all of them and not rip my dress!)

We managed to catch a tiny bit of Blood Red Shoes before our departure and I was properly gutted to miss Unicorn Kid, Piney Gir, Mercury Rev, 65 Days of Static, Fucked Up and Zinc (due to stupid queuing system).

We saw loads of other stuff but my Mum told me if you don’t have anything nice to say, you shouldn’t say anything at all.

Anyone at The 1234 or High Voltage, both of which clashed and I was gutted to miss, please feel free to leave comments about good stuff to make me jealous!

Halfway House

Friday, July 9th, 2010

As we get further into July, some Top Secret Autumn preparation is taking place and I realised that I hadn’t told y’all what I’ve been up to for ages, so here’s a list:

  • Gone outside a LOT and walked whenever possible
  • Hung out with some of my favourite people, drank, ate and laughed a lot
  • Visited the maps at the British Library about 3 times
  • Saw Future of the Left post-Kelson’s departure, they were okay but the magic was lost
  • Circus Boy came for a visit to celebrate his birthday
  • Alex CF’s stunning exhibition of Many Dead Things opened in Shoreditch
  • Went to the amazing Frisky & Mannish show at Udderbelly, where I laughed so hard I cried and cringed so hard I hid
  • Was introduced to lush Mint and Chilli tea
  • Went to Futurising. It was brilliant, my favourite bits were Tom Hunter and Morag Myerscough
  • Ankles was played on Radio Teesdale
  • My wonderful friend Sarah and I met Terry Pratchett and saw China Mieville on a panel with Adam Roberts and some other leaders in Sci Fi fiction
  • Started watching Mad Men. Wow.
  • Went to the Science Museum. The best bit was the sound exhibit; watched a presentation about Space, there were explosions and I learnt some sign language
  • I joined Formspring and have been asked lots of interesting questions
  • Put up some shelves and finally got my favourite books out of storage. There were also some DVDs that I’d forgotten about
  • I saw China Mieville speak a second time at the Stoke Newington Literary Festival
  • We celebrated a whole year since my first solo gig by going to see Jim Bob read from his book and play some music; he was supported by Isy Suttie and Andrew Collins

Saving the best till last: I’ve set up a Tumblr blog to share inspirations I find on this here internets.

I was also commissioned by a dance company to create two pieces of music for some choreography. They wanted there to be some links between the two pieces but very different feels. You can listen to the final tracks here:

Commissioned Soundtracks (tracks for Candoco)

This month is mostly planning, writing (I’m only halfway through the album), re-recording and re-editing. Off to Truck in a couple of weeks, where I’m gonna see Something Beginning With L, Pulled Apart By Horses and Islet all in the same place (can’t quite believe my luck).

Remember if you put good stuff out there, life can be a wonderful thing. Be generous of your time and your spirit and the rewards you reap will be beyond your imaginings. I’ve been focusing on seeing the good in all people and in living without bravado. Laughter is the best medicine.

May Be Okay

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Errp. June is fast approaching so I’ve just managed to get this done in time for it to keep its name. 2010 is definitely in the process of being the best year of my life. May was an action-packed month including the one year anniversary of my first solo gig (thanks to everyone for celebrating with me and for all your lovely messages). Here’s to the future!

“If I kiss you where it’s sore will you feel better, will you feel anything at all?”

So here it is May Be Okay Spotify Playlist


Land of Sunshine Faith No More

Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud David Bowie

A Prince in a Pauper’s Grave Carter USM

Cats and Dogs Camille

Five Minutes Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip

2.0///The Bridge of Sighs Pagan Wanderer Lu

It Ain’t Me Babe Johnny Cash and June Carter

Stainless Style Neon Neon

Little Ghost The White Stripes

The Man With The Child In His Eyes Kate Bush

Give and Take The Broken Family Band

Better Regina Spektor

Pack Up Your Sorrows Johnny Cash and June Carter

Elephant in the Room Chris T-T

Violent Dreams Crystal Castles

No-one is Alone Stephen Sondheim

Back in the Game Jamie T

Follow Me (club mix) Aly-Us

Heroes Roni Size, Reprazent

Not Over Yet (perfecto remix) Grace

Creativity is born of revolution

Friday, May 14th, 2010

Post-2010 election and the future of this country’s cultural community hangs in the balance.

Yesterday, following a Tory/Lib-Dem coalition and the announcement of the new cabinet that includes Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt *rhyming slang anyone?*, a £66 million cut in budget for the DCMS (Department for Culture Media and Sport) was reported in the national press.

Where this cut will likely be made will be to the Arts and arts funding.

So, why should this bother me?

Unable to avoid sounding like a cliche, “the Arts” is my life. My entire life. Creativity, music and performance are everything I have ever known and everything I have been able to do since I can remember. I don’t know about a lot of things, I have built my whole adult existence around music making and creating opportunities for others to make music.

But that was my choice surely?

Yes, I chose to do a variety of work that doesn’t pay very well in a field that I am passionate about. I chose to give myself the freedom I need in order to write the music I want to make. I chose to commit myself to work I believe in. But I am not a doctor, a scientist, a soldier, a psychologist, a classroom teacher, a policewoman, a plumber or a builder. If I was in the balloon I would be the first to be thrown out. I am not claiming that this is a worthy profession.

Music is all around us. It can change our mood instantaneously and unpredictably. It urges us to move, to dance, to celebrate, to cry, to sleep, to breathe differently, to rise up, to ritualise, I could go on and on.

Art is everywhere. It is what our brains do when we’re not thinking.

When did you last read a book? When did you last see a film? When did you last see a postcard or a painting that you loved? When did you last watch some people dancing or singing? When did you last pretend or lie? When did you last create, however small, even a doodle on a pad or whistling a tune? When did you last write something for work and think really hard about picking the right words? When did you last take a photograph?

What will happen?

I can’t predict the future (as you all know I’m pretty good at it though!). High end, high cost, high brow art will be largely unaffected. Yes, sure there will be cuts to the biggies (the national theatres, ballets, operas and musicals) but they will stay open and the ticket prices will go up to cover any lowering of funding.

The people who will be affected are people like me, individual artists trying to earn a living doing the only thing they are any good at. People who didn’t inherit any money to put them through private education, people who might or might not have a degree and might or might not be classically trained. Also, disabled artists, who face additional barriers to their music making and performance, this might be because of mental health difficulties, cognitive, sensory or physical impairments.

Talented, committed and incredible, unique people who have a right to express themselves through their art and have a right to be heard and seen.

In a capitalist society we all have to earn a living, we all have to contribute whatever we can to the world. I only have this. Music. This is all I have to give.

Creativity is born of revolution

I am unclear what this looks like at the moment, it is too close to yesterday’s announcement for me to feel anything other than distress. I have fire in my belly though and with time (not much time!) I will be able to express better what I mean by the above statement.

If you have anything creative in you, do it. Let it out.

Here’s some stuff that might help:

  • Any of the links on the right hand side of here will take you to stuff that can inspire you.
  • This was posted on Twitter by Futurising a while ago, it’s about just getting on with it.
  • Drake Music is a music organisation that I work with.
  • You can write to Jeremy Hunt and tell him what you think of him, in fact why not write to that awful woman Theresa May at the same time.

2010 6 (The Angel)

Monday, April 26th, 2010

This is the sixth in the 2010 series of tracks. This song has developed from an idea I had over a month ago. The writing and building of the track has been a slower process than the previous 2010 songs for various different reasons that I am happy to go on and on about if any of you ask.

I have also added my version of Chris T-T’s Ankles to the Music Player.

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To hear 2010 6 (The Angel):

Music Player

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LYRICS:

2010 6 (The Angel)

Clipped wings and sapphire eyes

cover woe – flawless disguise.

Locked away, swallowed the key

as a preference to being free.

From inside looking out through glass,

distorted scenes are photographed

by a man-like shape, statue-still.

Angel of the castle, castle on the hill.

Stacked around the walls are skeletons,

mortals misunderstood his burden.

Rock and earth and stick and stone

branches criss-cross skull and bone.

Self-inflicted wingless watcher

spies Beauty but he will not touch her;

for he knows his yen to kill.

Angel of the castle, the castle on the hill.

Disenchanted wood casts shadows in the breeze,

Beauty calls while dancing between trees:

“Oh, Angel do not lock yourself away

for there are many tasks for you to do today…

…Souls across the world have gone astray

and there is fun outside and games to play,

for you alone can heal their ill.

Oh, Angel of the castle, castle on the hill.”

Come out to play, Angel. It’s a lovely day, Angel. Let your wings grow again, you will be whole again.

Come outside we’ll walk, Angel. You can laugh and talk, Angel. Let your wings grow again, you will be whole again.

The spirit in his home, the tower,

overlooks science and nature.

Vantage point, truth exposed,

Devil inside the details transposed.

Running fast through the Banquet Hall.

Cut his hair, clothes they fall.

Drank the water till he had his fill.

Angel of the castle, the castle on the hill.

Outstretched wings and fierce eyes

cover woe – flawless disguise.

Locked away until ready;

repairs his heart, prepare his body.

From inside out the shattered glass;

upon the wind flew the photographs

and that man-like shape on window-sill.

Angel of the castle, the castle on the hill.

Strength and grace and majesty

trust self-powered prophecy.

Hear the voices, see the smiles,

shades and colour of Beauty’s wiles.

Eyes aglow as he takes the leap,

faith’s easy to find but hard to keep.

He is brave enough to feel the thrill.

Angel of the castle, the castle on the hill.

Angel of the castle, the castle on the hill.

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